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After Making Comic Book Films, Wally Pfister, Hugo Weaving, and Paul Bettany Disparage Comic Book Films

Written by on October 16, 2012 

As hard as they fight to attain some sort of consistent critical respect, comic book films still manage to attract some of Hollywood’s finer talent. Turns out, though, that even a few of those people have some bones to pick with what they do or, worse, the work of others.

First up in the pecking order is Wally Pfister, the longtime, Oscar-winning cinematographer for Christopher Nolan — most importantly, on his Batman trilogy — someone you could hold as a guy who knows his way around technical bends. Despite his years-long commitment to a man in a cape, it turns out he wasn’t so keen on this past summer’s competing superhero film — well, certainly not the work of director Joss Whedon.

I’ll save the rest for his quote (via Arts Sarasota):

“What’s really important is storytelling. None of it matters if it doesn’t support the story. I thought The Avengers was an appalling film. They’d shoot from some odd angle and I’d think, why is the camera there? Oh, I see, because they spent half a million on the set and they have to show it off. It took me completely out of the movie. I was driven bonkers by that illogical form of storytelling.”

Given Pfister‘s immense personal talent and high level of respect across Hollywood, that’s a nasty blow toward Marvel. Amazingly, even more of these shots are coming from people inside their own camp. Hugo Weaving — who you may remember as the highlight of last year’s Captain America: The First Avenger, where he played the villainous Red Skull — was asked, by Collider, about possibly returning for the 2014 sequel (The Winter Soldier) or even The Avengers 2.

His response was not so enthusiastic:

“They might [bring Red Skull back] for The Avengers, but I didn’t think I’d be in Captain America 2 or 3.  I don’t think Red Skull will be there.  And it’s not something I would want to do again.  I’m glad I did it.  I did sign up for a number of pictures and I suppose, contractually, I would be obliged to, if they forced me to, but they wouldn’t want to force someone to do it, if they didn’t want to.  I think I’ve done my dash with that sort of film.  It was good to do it and try it out, but to be honest, it’s not the sort of film I seek out and really am excited by.  As an actor, to do all sorts of different films is great.  It stretches you in different ways.  But, I increasingly like to go back to what I used to always do, which is to get involved with projects that I really have a personal affiliation with.”

Not quite as bad as that kick to the groin from Pfister — the actor’s experience even sounds like a generally positive one, so long as “I’m glad I did it” means the same thing today as it did yesterday — but Weaving clearly took this job as a paycheck, something that was more clearly illustrated in his other quote about doing the Transformers series. I’d normally disparage that line of thinking on any actor’s part, but when he gave such a fun performance in the first place? It can slide. (It doesn’t hurt that he’s also Hugo Weaving.)

Finally, Paul Bettany took to dishing on the comic book movie enterprise. Not in terms of how bad Priest was, but, rather, just some bewilderment over his experience with the Iron Man movies and The Avengers. Very few actually associate the man with any of those pictures, since his time there is limited to voicing Tony Stark’s computer system, Jarvis, who only comes in once every few scenes to offer some soothing English tones.

Bettany‘s experience there is, as he told DigitalSpy, “an anomaly,” a job where Marvel call him in “right at the last moment, where if they’ve worked out that they have a clarity issue or whatever, they can always add it to [my] dialog.” (The process is said to not only be extremely easy and fast, but allows him to collect a good deal of money when the lines have been read.) Although the man has never actually seen them, Bettany assures, “It’s not because of any snobbishness, it’s just not my thing.”

Fun times in the world of comic book films. While we’re at it, why not provide the official synopsis for another, Kick-Ass 2 (via ComingSoon):

Kick-Ass, Hit Girl and Red Mist return for the follow-up to 2010′s irreverent global hit: Kick-Ass 2. After Kick-Ass’ (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) insane bravery inspires a new wave of self-made masked crusaders, led by the badass Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), our hero joins them on patrol. When these amateur superheroes are hunted down by Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)—reborn as The Mother F%&*^r—only the blade-wielding Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) can prevent their annihilation.

When we last saw junior assassin Hit Girl and young vigilante Kick-Ass, they were trying to live as normal teenagers Mindy and Dave. With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world’s first superhero team with Mindy. Unfortunately, when Mindy is busted for sneaking out as Hit Girl, she’s forced to retire—leaving her to navigate the terrifying world of high-school mean girls on her own. With no one left to turn to, Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, run by a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes.

Just as they start to make a real difference on the streets, the world’s first super villain, The Mother F%&*^r, assembles his own evil league and puts a plan in motion to make Kick-Ass and Hit Girl pay for what they did to his dad. But there’s only one problem with his scheme: If you mess with one member of Justice Forever, you mess with them all.

With Jeff Wadlow behind the camera and the above names joined by Nicolas Cage, John Leguizamo, & Donald Faison, Kick-Ass 2 will open on June 28th, 2013.

Do these comments ring true, particularly after reading that Kick-Ass 2 synopsis?


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